The Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Very Esteemed Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, Honorable Members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees and Beloved Faithful Of this God-protected Archdiocese
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
As the Special Convention is over, I would like to share with you my gratefulness to our Lord and to each of you for the atmosphere in which everything took place. Indeed, comprehension and sense of responsibility dominated the Convention, with a kind of acceptance of our “imperfectness”, accompanied with the commitment to continue implementing best practices at all levels while serving our Church.
In addition, I would like to congratulate you for such a blessed conclusion of the nomination process and I thank the Hierarchs and the members of the Board of Trustees for their valuable contribution in this regard, because their approval of the procedures guaranteed that transparency and professionalism be the cornerstone in such an important event in the life of this Archdiocese.
I will not forget that their responsible attitude and full comprehension of the “landmine” map were the keys to determining the roadmap to follow in this nomination process and allowed us to go to the Special Convention with a spirit of peace. It is an achievement that it is added to the so many they have been accomplishing in serving the church and ministering to all. By taking such a courageous decision, they have preserved unity and peace in a wonderful but a simple manner.
Now that Pentecost is at hand, I pray with you that the Holy Spirit illumine each of us in his commitment to the church, with a special reference to the three nominees, our beloved Hierarchs Joseph, Basil and John, as well as to the members of the Holy Synod of Antioch, for the best conclusion of the election process that will take place in the near future.
Having completed one important step regarding the process of election of a successor to His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip of eternal memory, I will not forget how the presence of Metropolitan Philip was evident during the period following his falling asleep in the Lord, and how it was a determinant throughout the nomination process. Indeed, his wisdom assured the framework in which the Convention took place in such a blessed and peaceful way.
Furthermore, I recall to mind the request that His Beatitude, Patriarch JOHN X addressed in his letter to the Special Convention in which he asked all to “hope and pray” that the Convention “be a blessed time of unity, dialogue and forward looking reflection for the common good of the Church of Antioch”.
Last, but not least, I express my gratitude to all those who insured that this transitional period be a blessed and a fruitful period by their continued prayers and constant work, be it visible or behind the scene. I take the opportunity to thank all the participants in the Special Convention and our hosts in Chicago for the witness they gave to the entire archdiocese.
May our Lord bless the work that has been accomplished and the one to come ahead for the good of this Archdiocese and the entire Church of Antioch!
Metropolitan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina & Patriarchal Vicar of New York and all North America